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Cuban
Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

Puré de Calabaza La Esperanza

Located in a charming, eclectically decorated bungalow with a tiny, lush garden terrace, La Esperanza is one of Havana’s most stylish paladares. In both its menu and décor, this restaurant reflects a Cuban creativity that shines through in spite of economic hardship and food shortages. Hubert, who handles the front of the house, and Manolo, the chef, produce interesting and flavorful dishes like this squash soup, using the best of what is available at the market that day. If there is cream in the larder, the soup will be richer, and if not, it will be lighter, but in either case what comes out of the La Esperanza’s kitchen will be good.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds calabaza, pie pumpkin, or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup light cream or half and half (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 4 to 6 Cuban Bread Croutons
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Directions

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook slowly until the onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the calabaza and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the calabaza is very tender, about 40 minutes.

In a blender or food processor with a steel knife blade, working in two or three batches, puree the calabaza mixture until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and heat the soup gently, stirring often, until hot.

Ladle the soup into 4 to 6 individual soup bowls, top each serving with a crouton, and sprinkle with parsley.


© 2006 Beverly Cox
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 6. Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include optional light cream or half and half, or Cuban Bread Croutons. For nutritional information on Cuban Bread Croutons, please follow the link above.

353kcal (18%)
251mg (25%)
106mg (176%)
2572mcg RAE (86%)
1934mg
175mg
9g
15g
11g
66g
5mg (2%)
541mg (23%)
2g (8%)
9g (14%)
4mg (22%)
 

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